Aug 1, 2010
Aug 1, 2010
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6
In the beginning the world was dark and void until God’s words flipped a switch and there was light. While it may be hard to imagine a world without light, we have experienced other types of darkness: discouragement, disappointment, and sorrow to name a few.
Trusting God in the darkness is difficult. We pray for Him to instantly change our circumstances; and while He sometimes does, we often find ourselves waiting for Him in a hard place. Paul was familiar with waiting and challenges. In 2 Corinthians 4:7-15, Paul describes being persecuted and struck down. Instead of requiring God to intervene with a bright light from heaven, which he had experienced before on the road to Damascus, Paul patiently relied on God to sustain him. Although unseen, God’s goodness, presence, and strength were at work. Paul knew that having God in his life was enough. God was all the light he needed.
You think you have to be someplace else or accomplish something more to find peace. But it’s right here. God has yet to bless anyone except where they actually are. Dallas Willard
The Staggering Question
He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” —Ezekiel 37:3
Can a sinner be turned into a saint? Can a twisted life be made right? There is only one appropriate answer— “O Lord God, You know” (Ezekiel 37:3). Never forge ahead with your religious common sense and say, “Oh, yes, with just a little more Bible reading, devotional time, and prayer, I see how it can be done.”
It is much easier to do something than to trust in God; we see the activity and mistake panic for inspiration. That is why we see so few fellow workers with God, yet so many people working for God. We would much rather work for God than believe in Him. Do I really believe that God will do in me what I cannot do? The degree of hopelessness I have for others comes from never realizing that God has done anything for me. Is my own personal experience such a wonderful realization of God’s power and might that I can never have a sense of hopelessness for anyone else I see? Has any spiritual work been accomplished in me at all? The degree of panic activity in my life is equal to the degree of my lack of personal spiritual experience.
“Behold, O My people, I will open your graves…” (Ezekiel 37:12). When God wants to show you what human nature is like separated from Himself, He shows it to you in yourself. If the Spirit of God has ever given you a vision of what you are apart from the grace of God (and He will only do this when His Spirit is at work in you), then you know that in reality there is no criminal half as bad as you yourself could be without His grace. My “grave” has been opened by God and “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells” (Romans 7:18). God’s Spirit continually reveals to His children what human nature is like apart from His grace.
The great thing about faith in God is that it keeps a man undisturbed in the midst of disturbance. Notes on Isaiah, 1376 R
David was confident that the Lord was always right there with him (Ps. 16:8). His psalms reveal that in surveying his life, he saw God’s fingerprints all over it. Like David, we must train our spiritual eyes to notice evidence of the heavenly Father’s presence in our life.
Seeing with spiritual eyes isn’t a now-and-then kind of thing—it’s a lifestyle. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). Those who walk before the Lord with a clear conscience will take captive unholy thoughts, habits, attitudes, and words. They will cast out sin and live in righteousness. As a result, such believers have a spiritual clarity that sharpens their awareness of God’s presence and involvement in their life.
I developed a habit years ago that has helped me to focus on Him. When I lie down and talk to the Lord before going to sleep, I try to recall the events of my day. What I’m really doing is looking for evidence of God’s hand at work. How did He guide this decision? Answer this question? Protect me in this situation? Help me in this relationship? Appreciating the Lord’s handiwork a second time (even when the initial experience may have been difficult) etches the reality of His love deeper in my heart.
The evidence of God’s great power is all over your life, if only you will see it. Viewing the world with wide-open spiritual eyes changes one’s perspective. Instead of saying, “I can’t,” say, “I can because the Lord always enables me.” Live confident in the loving, omnipotent God, who dwells within you.
“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29)
This portion of Scripture follows a lengthy restatement of the covenant of God with His people, Israel. In this chapter, Moses reminded the people of the works that God had wrought on their behalf in their deliverance from Pharaoh, in His provision for them in the wilderness, and in His protection on the battlefield (vv. 2-8).
In this final address, he encouraged them to “keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do” (v. 9), and stated the various blessings that would be theirs if they would do so. Lastly, he described, in graphic and burning words, the results of breaking the covenant and incurring the judgment of God (vv. 18-27). “And the LORD rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day” (v. 28).
In recognition of the limitations of humankind, Moses wrote in our text that there are certain things known only to God, which He has veiled—things which cannot be understood by the human mind—things which He simply chooses to keep to Himself. But he goes on to say that He has revealed certain things to us, and these things we must obey. Consequently, our text consists of a great principle of life: We must do what we know to do. We don’t know everything, but we must act responsibly and properly on that which He has told us, leaving the “secret things” and their consequences to God. Elsewhere, He promises that even the secret things will “work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28)—in His sovereign plan. We must obey, doing what we know to do, and leave the results with Him. JDM
And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord GOD, knowest thy servant. —2 Samuel 7:20
It is a great consolation to me that God knows instantly, effortlessly and perfectly all matter and all matters… all causes and all relations, all effects and all desires, all mysteries and all enigmas, all things unknown and hidden. There are no mysteries to God….
I’m not worried about these satellites they’re shooting around the earth. I’m not worried about Kruschev [former leader of the Soviet Union] or any of the rest of those fellows over there with names you can’t pronounce. Because God’s running His world and He knows all about it. He knows where these men will die, He knows where they will be buried and He knows when they’ll be buried. God knows all hidden things, “dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto” (1 Timothy 6:16).
And He also knows His people. You who have fled for refuge to Him, Jesus Christ the Lord, He knows you, and you’re never an orphan. A Christian is never lost, though he may think he is…. The Lord knows where he is. The Lord knows all about him. He knows about his health and knows about his business. Isn’t it a consolation to you that our Father knows it all?
Yes, Father, it is a huge consolation to me that You know all there is to know. I rest in that comfort today. Amen.
Much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. (Romans 5:15)
It is a typical and accepted teaching in Christian churches today that Moses and the Old Testament knew only God’s law, and that Christ and the New Testament know only God’s grace.
I repeat: that is the “accepted” teaching of the hour—but I also hasten to add that it is a mistaken concept, and that it was never the concept held and taught by the early Christian church fathers.
God has always been the God of all grace, and He does not change. Immutability is an attribute of God; therefore God at all times and in all of history must act like Himself!
He is the God of all grace; therefore the grace of God does not ebb and flow like the ocean tides. There has always been the fullness of grace in the heart of God. There is no more grace now than there was previously and there will never be any more grace than there is now!
The flow of God’s grace did not begin when Christ came to die for us. It was part of God’s ancient plan of redemption and was manifested in the blood and tears and pain and death at Calvary’s cross!
One of the marvels of the Bible is its singular fullness. It is not a book of gold leaf beaten thin, as most books are as to thought; but its sentences are nuggets of unalloyed truth. The book of God is clearly the god of books, for it is infinite. Well said a German author, “In this little book is contained all the wisdom of the world.”
“We search the world for truth; we cull
The good, the pure, the beautiful
From graven stone and written scroll,
From all old flower-fields of the soul;
And, weary seekers of the best,
We come back laden from the quest,
To find that all the sages said
Is in the Book our mothers read.”